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MediaWiki Customisations for Dev8D

I’ve been working on setting up a heavily customised MediaWiki for JISC‘s Dev8D event at

This led to setting up and developing a bunch of features I wanted to see in the wiki (and re-use on others), since I couldn’t find any suitable extensions/plugins to do the job.

I’ll put implementation details up in separate posts in the near future.

New features:

  1. Login integration with twitter – Users can log in to the wiki either by creating a wiki account as normal, or by automatically creating an account/login using their twitter credentials.

    Recent events (especially JISC ones) have been fairly twitter heavy (twitter announcements by organisers, twitter walls etc.), so this seemed like a better unified login solution than OpenID for this particular event (though supporting both would be great if I had more time).

  2. Twitter feeds on wiki pages – any wiki page can have a box on the right hand side which displays results from twitter searches, and refreshes periodically (example up on the wiki front page).

    Tags have been defined each area of the event, and tweets made during the event should show up on appropriate wiki pages.

    The searches are performed client-side, to avoid any possible rate-limiting problems.

  3. Scripted updates of wiki pages – used to regenerate parts of the wiki from the event programme (and more importantly, to let me edit wiki pages using vi…).

    I’ve set up a number of pages with comments used as delimiters. The script then updates only the text within those delimiters, allowing the rest of the page to be edited as any other on a wiki.

    For example, the page on the Python Lab is built dynamically, and changes whenever the programme does.

As well as the above, off the shelf functionality includes the Semantic MediaWiki extension (used to mark up sessions, talks, users), embedded vimeo videos, code highlighting, and reCAPTCHA for spam prevention.

Posted in Conference Website, PHP.

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5 Responses

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  1. David F. Flanders says

    You rock Dave! And good to know about the vimeo embedding.

  2. Ed Summers says

    Thanks for these details. I must admit it feels kind of odd having a wiki page that tells me not to edit it. What if I wanted to sign up as an attendee for the Python Lab for example?

    • Christopher Gutteridge says

      Aha, I think that we need to reword our page!

      Currently it says:

      !– Autogenerated regularly from programme, please don’t edit! —
      !– End of autogenerated section. Some suggestions for sections have been added below, uncomment and use as needed! —

      What we need to do is change it to something like:

      !– This top block is autogenerated regularly from programme, please make changes below, not inside, this block! —
      !– Humans: Please edit BELOW this line —

      We’ve never done this before, so are making rookie mistakes. But after Dev8D people can build on what we’ve learned and evolved!

  3. Dave Challis says

    Yup, it should be easy enough to change what the comment block says (I’ll have a think about the wording!).

    It was intended to only refer to the first block of text, everything below that is freely editable.

  4. Ed Summers says

    Thanks! Adding that extra bit about what is editable on the wiki was perfect.

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